dw-paddlers.

To visit the official website click here. The event takes place 30th March to 2nd April.

Devizes Westminster International Canoe Race is one of the ultimate tests of endurance. Traveling for 125 miles in kayak or canoe from Devizes to Westminster, It pushes competitors to their physical and mental limits.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We have limited production slots in the run-up to the DW and substantial lead times, so please order well in advance to avoid disappointment. 

At Kirton, the DW has always been an important race for us and we’ve been making winning boats for decades. In fact, all official (and unofficial) time records have been achieved in Kirton kayaks (see below for detials). Last year alone, five of the top ten K2 senior winner were paddling our boats.

Our honed marathon constructions are the most rugged and durable you can get, and we have options to suit every pocket and paddler ability. You can paddle the DW in any of our racing kayaks, but here are a few of the highlights to think about.

Teknik

A seriously fast, elite level K1, designed and built in the UK  at our Devon factory. Used to win places in many national and international races, the achievements speak for themselves.

Tasman

If this is your first time in a racing Kayak, then the Tasman is a great option. Stable and easy to paddle, it can handle chop with ease. It's a great all-rounder after the event too, and make a great family boat.

tasman-top

tasman-side

Torque

A sharp looking K2. The Torque offers the stability of it's predecessor, the faithful Meister, coupled with speed similar to the evergreen Mirage. It’s the best option for the relative newcomer, looking for a quick but stable platform.

 

Mirage 50

If a boat could ever be said to be synonymous with the DW then this would have to be it. First used on the Easter marathon way back in 1966, it remains an excellent choice for the vast majority of competitors. It was the first boat to break the the 18hr mark, a feat it has accomplished many times since. It remains a regular top ten, sub 20hour performer. The rounded hull makes for a very tough, and reliable boat and the speed is high enough that, in any endurance race, the boat will not be the limiting factor. This beautiful boat was refreshed in 2017 to offer improvements in build, performance and comfort. After something faster still? Check out the Marauder.

Mirage 50

 

MUSTANG

This is the performance boat of choice for aspiring DW winners. Used by many Junior and Senior crews, the Mustang is light-weight, reliable and stable, considering its high performance hull.  With many tough construction options, your Mustang is designed to handle the rigours of training and many 100+ mile races on top. Looking for a 17hr time or less? This is your boat.

 

mustang-top

mustang-side

 

Kirton’s DW achievements

Seniors

1966    Mirage used for first time.

1970     Glider, first time under 20hrs.

1973     Mirage 3, first time under 19hrs.

1975     Mirage 3, first time under 18hrs.

1977     Makker, Fowler & Greeham, first time under 17hrs.

1978     Makker, new record 16hr 50mins.

1979     Current official record. Brian Greenham &Tim Cornish. Makker 15hr 34mins.

2000     Unofficial record. Steve Baker & Duncan Capps. Fanfare, 15hr 18mins.

2007     Mustang used to take first place, 17hr 3mins.

2014     1st, 2nd and 3rd positions.

2015     Tom Sharpe wins the senior K1.

2016    Dougal Glaisher & Francis Huntingford, 1st Junior Doubles. Marauder L/V. Mirage's, taking 5th and 8th in Senior event.

2017    Julia Huntingford and Jessica Gardner, 1st Ladies U17Schools in Mirage 50. Caroline Banson 1st Ladies Veteran class in Pulsar k1. 

 

 

Junior Record Times (in Kirton boats)

1970     A. Hunter/J. West (Leander Sea Scouts)

1972     A. Bennett/T. Cornish (Pangbourne)

1975     I. White/C. Gale (Sussex Police)

1979     J. West/A. Ayres (Royal)

1986     D. Coulson/J. Elliot (Leighton Park School)

1993     A. Richardson/S. Jensen (Royal/Richmond)

Tips for choosing your boat

All too often the choice of the K1 and K2 is clouded in Mystery and pseudo-science. So, to cut thought the confusion, here are a few simple tips to help with your choice.

Try before you buy

Always trial a boat before buying. A boat that’s right for the world champion, may not be right for your. Browse though our wide range of boats before settling on a model. It’s better to paddle a stable boat confidently and comfortably, then a top-flight boat on edge.

Get the right seat

Make sure your seat is as comfortable as you can get it. Twenty-four hours is a long time to spend on your bum, so make sure you're settled in your seat. Exactly how you do this depends on you and your body. 
Some people like to place a sheet of (unicellular, waterproof) foam on top for padding. Other, request for large holes to be cut in the seat, under each cheek, for extra grip. Some swear that a wooden seat is more comfortable, and we can provide these for you. Sliding platform seats are worth considering, as they give you a better position, can be adjusted quickly when you swap positions with your partner, and the edges grip a bit better. They are a little more tippy, though, so are not fore everyone. As well as the seat itself, think about cloths you're wearing. Chafing is a real issue. But above all else, simply steel yourself to the fact that you are going to be a bit sore after, no mater what you try.

Rudder options

Rudder choice is important and which you go for depends on your ability and experience. As a rule, it’s best to go for an overstern rudder as this will just flip out of harms way if you drop or ground the boat. However, if you’re after the optimum performance, and are willing to take the risk, understern rudders are more responsive.

Train hard!

Remember, it’s the paddler that makes a boat go fast, not the boat. The speed difference between any of the elite boats is immeasurably small in practice. Train effectively (including nutrition, rest and sleep) and you will achieve a good time, no matter what you’re paddling.